Drink to your health

 
What you drink on the job is just as important as what you choose to eat. When you pour cup after cup of coffee into your body, you're likely not getting the hydration your body needs. When you grab a sugar-sweetened soda from the vending machine, you're pouring empty calories into your body. And when you grab a diet soda instead, you may be unwittingly giving yourself permission to enjoy a muffin or doughnut later — after all, you had a diet soda. The implication of each drink choice we make throughout the day often depends on the individual, but one thing is for certain: it's just as important to pay attention to the liquids we ingest as it is to the foods we eat.

Water is really the only liquid our body needs to function. Sure, when you wake up you may tell yourself that you can't go on without coffee. But your body could, after you get past detoxing from caffeine. Beyond water, all other drinks deserve scrutiny: what added chemicals, sugars and calories are we consuming? That health shake you got on your way into work — do you know how many calories and fat are in it? What about that fancy coffee drink you get each day? And how about that energy drink from the cafeteria — what's in that?

Think before you drink

Awareness is the first step toward making better beverage choices. We're not advocating a total swearing off of everything you love. We're suggesting you rethink your drink: maybe you get a nonfat latte instead of the 2 percent, or you have one less soda per week. Maybe you drink green tea instead of your third cup of coffee, or you opt for a whole apple — healthy fiber and all — instead of the bottle of apple juice.

When you think before you drink, you have a chance to be more mindful of what you are putting into your body. And when you're more mindful about what you're drinking, you're more likely to make a healthier choice.

* Available for members who work in companies with 51 or more employees.